Wit Capital Group

( WITC), the Internet-focused financial services firm, said Thursday that it expected its first-quarter results to come in well above Wall Street estimates.

Wit said that it expected revenue to exceed $85 million, and that it would post its first profit since it was founded in 1996. Shares of Wit Capital surged in after-hours trading, according to


, rising 3 1/16, or 18.7%, to 19 5/8. The stock had closed regular trading at 16 9/16, up 9/16.

Analysts' current revenue estimates range from $47.6 million to $54 million. Wit Capital Group expects to report its first-quarter results the week of April 17.

Although Wit is still a relatively small player in the financial services arena, its anticipation of strong results highlights the phenomenal performance that the sector has seen recently because of heavy volumes of underwriting, trading, and mergers and acquisitions. Most notably,

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

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( MWD),

Goldman Sachs

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Lehman Brothers

( LEH) all reported sharp increases in revenues and incomes for recent quarters.

Through its online investment banking group,

Wit Soundview

, the company has focused on providing venture capital, merger and acquisition advisory, strategic consulting, and public offerings for Internet-related companies.